She experienced growing up mixed-race in the U.S. herself.
Gigi Hadid is getting real about her Arab background and what it means to her as she raises her daighter in America. There’s no denying Hadid has a massive platform to use her voice, but as she revealed in a new interview, she hasn’t always felt empowered to use it. Growing up mixed-race (her mother is Dutch, while her father is Palestinian), the model said she sometimes felt “too white” to really embrace her Arab culture. But she’s also learned from her own experience and says she’ll do things differently with her own children. In a new interview, Gigi Hadid said she'll raise her daughter to understand her Arab heritage.
Hadid sat down with i-D magazine where she talked about her identity at length. She explained that much of her life, she’s tried to figure out where she “fits in” racially.
"We are that first generation of those mixed races, and then that comes with that first generational experience of being like, 'Oh damn, I'm the bridge!'" she told the site. "That's not something that my parents experienced or that they can really help me through."
But she and Zayn Malik are looking forward to incorporating culture into their daily lives with their daughter, Khai. "It's something that's really important to us," Gigi said. "I think it will be nice to be able to have those conversations, and see where she comes from [with] it, without us putting that onto her.”
Hadid went on to explain why it’s important to let her daughter explore her culture on her own as well. "What comes from her is what I'm most excited about," she added. "And being able to add to that, or answer her questions."
Hadid got candid about sometimes feeling “too white” to stand up for her heritage. “You go through life trying to figure out where you fit in racially. Is what I am, or what I have, enough to do what I feel is right? But then, also, is that taking advantage of the privilege of having the whiteness within me, right? Am I allowed to speak for this side of me, or is that speaking on something that I don’t experience enough to know?” she mused.
Seeing as Malik also hails from a multi-racial family (his mother is white, while his father is Pakistani), baby Khai has a rich cultural history, and it’s wonderful knowing her parents plan on helping her explore it.